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january 2010 microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2010-02-02 21:28:18 by Jim Crawford
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Jan 2nd

  • What the Base Rate Fallacy means for your implausibly-reliable terrorist detector:

Jan 3rd

Jan 5th

  • Terrorism vs. Child Pornography: what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

Jan 6th

  • Re-watching Terminator 2, the soundtrack proves that the only equipment you need to create an effective film score is a Rompler from 1989.

Jan 7th

  • $152 of stuff in Sparkfun cart. Fully expecting the site to be completely unreachable until all the giveaway slots are gone.
  • Through rain, snow, sleet and hail, trains are awesome:
  • The future's so close I can almost taste it:

Jan 8th

  • American Engrish at Ralph's Grocery: "Crab Apples / Eat out of hand / And add sugar to make a delicious desert!" Not quite haiku, sadly.
  • From a Flash stack trace YouTube just threw at me: "at"
  • "Don't Shit Your Pants: A Survival Horror Game"
  • The CB's employees seem to be genuinely into cupcakes. I don't think I could say that about anyone else employed in a mall food court.

Jan 11th

  • Pulled all 6 consoles on the console shelf down on top of myself while playing Uncharted 2 at Matt and Indy's. I blame bad couch ergonomics.
  • "You know where else that argument doesn't play? The Nuremberg trials."

Jan 12th

  • Probably shouldn't be linking to this without listening first, but Shawn Elliott's hosting the Irrational Games podcast:
  • Trying to set up my new monitor. Is there some obvious reason the HDMI signal would be way, way worse quality than VGA?
  • (Less obvious than not running at native resolution. The display settings *say* 1080p at least, though it does look scaled up under HDMI.)
  • Okay, an hour plus of sysadmin bullshit is enough. I can survive without a second monitor.
  • -- Obvious halo around the white dude. Is Microsoft trying to Adobe(r) Photoshop some racial diversity into this team?
  • - I'm listening to "PSYC 102 Intro/Sensation & Perception" and "POLI 142K Politics and Warfare." Both are pretty awesome.

Jan 13th

  • Spent the last 5 hours in an almost-sleep hallucination of tedious abstract shapes. After years of practice, I still suck at sleeping.
  • Dueling interviews with Jordan Mechner (Prince of Persia, 1989) and Eric Chahi (Another World, 1991) on inspiration:
  • -- Possibly the most WTF WTF I've encountered. Even after correcting for being Japanese.
  • Good commentary on the recent Google/China thing here:
  • Hm. Maybe the fall hurt my ankle more than I thought. I kept climbing because it didn't hurt much, but now I can barely put any weight on it

Jan 14th

  • The concept of cow tipping is hilarious enough that the act's absence from Youtube is pretty compelling evidence that it's an urban legend.
  • Film police misbehavior in Boston, get prosecuted for illegal wiretapping:
  • Pop art is the most important kind of art. Don't feel bad for making things people like; don't get sloppy because "it's just a game/movie."

Jan 15th

  • It's about time we got a snowclone for "Pimp Up My Ride" where the variable is the preposition rather than the noun.
  • "Pimp Into My Ride," "Pimp Across My Ride," "Pimp Underneath My Ride," "Pimp About My Ride," "Pimp Without My Ride," "Pimp Between My Ride."
  • Ankle update: ankle feeling mostly okay. I think I'm good for climbing on Monday.

Jan 16th

  • -- "[Today], PopCap will donate everything you spend on to help the earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti."
  • All these awesome Processing music videos make me want to use Processing for some Smush music videos. But I just uninstalled Java last year!

Jan 17th

  • Just finished Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV. It's good, but not $15 good. How could it have been worth the asking price? Let me count the ways:
  • 1. More interesting play mechanics. 2. Better level design. 3. More level design. 4. Prettier art. 5. More consistently awesome soundtrack.
  • And if Terry had been slightly less convinced that making a task harder is equivalent to making it more fun, that would've been awesome too.
  • Note that VVVVVV doesn't suck at any of these metrics. It just doesn't excel at them either.
  • Just returned a DVD I've had out from Netflix since July. It's all streaming all the time for me.

Jan 18th

  • VVVVVV calls cheat codes "accessibility mode" and puts them in the menu. Very forward thinking; poor reflexes effectively *are* a disability

Jan 19th

  • I wonder whether the helmet-like design was an early-80s necessity or an early-80s aesthetic decision.
  • -- "Ribbon Hero ... the core loop of gameplay involves using and gaining skills in Word, Excel and PowerPoint."
  • Speaking of serious games, here's a vocal FC of "I Get By" played on a trombone: -- Skip to 1:50 for the good part.
  • The bar for "sex offender" gets lowered even further:
  • Forgetting to apply Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs can make you like a big asshole:
  • -- How to sell a Wii game to a casual market that doesn't buy sequels: "All you have to do is nail it the first time."

Jan 20th

  • People are cognitive and ideational patterns. Each physical brain is the most robust representation of such patterns.
  • However, lesser representations existing elsewhere, e.g. in writing, or as sub-patterns nested in the brains of others, are just as real.
  • @fiskmeshi There is no combat without movement.
  • Elena pointed out to me one way in which American Sign Language is awesome:

Jan 21st

  • Tournament organizers, lern 2 math: In single-elimination, the only place you determine is first place. Remaining places are approximations.
  • Just when I think a certain joke is stale and played out, I rediscover that good artists can do good work in any genre:
  • If by "sound" you mean "vibration of air molecules," then yes. If you mean "perception of an event via vibration of air molecules," then no.

Jan 22nd

Jan 24th

  • -- Annotated playthrough video of "Gimmick!," an impressive NES platformer by Sunsoft that never made it out of Japan.
  • Man, what's the name of the Japanese wooden bird thing that makes bonking noises? There's no "japanese lawn ornament" category on Wikipedia.
  • Here it is! Hey, this has nothing to do with birds. Maybe I was conflating it with Dippy Birds.

Jan 26th

Jan 27th

  • 8 of 10 trending topics are Apple-related. From that perspective, the people I'm following have been a picture of restraint. Good job, guys!
  • Finally got the pictures from Italy sorted through. Here are the good ones:
  • On how Madden NFL is shaping real football:
  • "Alien" and "Aliens" feel like home to me. The set design, the sound design, the music. I can put either film on and instantly feel relaxed.

Jan 29th

  • Got a gelato from Eunice returning from the climbing gym. Then it started to rain. I'm eating wet gelato. Don't know how I feel about this.
  • -- The Australian censor board has redefined "child pornography" to include any depiction of small breasts.

Jan 30th

  • I didn't expect Jory Caron to live up to the title "microwave specialist," but I was impressed:

Jan 31st

  • Wake up to the delicious stench of Wasabi:
  • Haken Continuum, 3-axis continuous MIDI controller: Check out the performances at 3:55, 6:35 and 8:20 if nothing else.
  • Open letter to my co-pedestrians: me waiting for my turn doesn't make me a sucker; you *not* waiting your turn makes you an asshole.
  • Also: giving me a hard time for waiting my turn because you then had to wait for me to catch up makes you an even bigger asshole. Ding gratz
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